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Summary: In the spring of 2012, four American children find themselves thrust into an unfamiliar world and part of an unexpected adventure. This story is AU, and blends Lord of the Rings book-verse and movie-verse. This story also contains a lot of spiritual and religious content as a part of the AU elements.
Disclaimer: The world of Middle-earth and all its peoples belong to the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien; the three films of The Lord of the Rings belongs to New Line Cinema and to Peter Jackson. This story is not for profit, but is a gift for the enjoyment of those who read it.
Citations: In most chapters, there will be some quotations directly from both the books and/or the movies. Quotations from Tolkien's books are in italics, and quotations from the movies are underlined. Occasional quotations from other sources as well as silent dialogue, words spoken in emphasis, and passages from the Bible will also be in italics, and those citations will be footnoted at the end of each chapter in which they occur. We will also footnote research sources and credit the ideas of other people.
Thanks: We would also like to acknowledge the invaluable help of our beta, Linda Hoyland,another well-known and prolific LotR fanwriter, whose many wonderful stories also grace this site.
Chapter 78:Miracles Happen (When You Believe)
Ever since Jennifer had been called to Aragorn's tent, to meet with him, Gandalf, and Boromir about the letter with the news of their parents' and little sisters' presence in Minas Tirith, she had been fretting about how to tell her brothers about it. She could not put off telling them any longer. She had finally realized she was a little scared of their reactions—she was afraid they would be angry at her for keeping it from them. She patted the little pouch that hung from her belt. Boromir had given her the page with the news about Mom and Dad and Kaylee and Megan, to show to her brothers. She had been trying so hard to keep it all secret, and now that it came to it, she was sort of afraid to reveal it.
She remembered the night of her dream and her conversation with Lady Galadriel, and what God had told her afterward, when she had taken the matter to Him…
Jennifer had been sleeping soundly in the Company's pavilion when she woke abruptly from one of those extraordinary dreams: she had seen her parents and Megan in Rivendell, with Kaylee, a half-grown Lucy, Master Elrond, and Lady Arwen! How odd, she thought. It had been quite vivid. She lay there blinking, when she overheard Frodo and Sam talking softly. She couldn't hear what they were saying, but there was a movement at the entrance to the pavilion. The Lady Galadriel was there. She gestured to Frodo and Sam and spoke softly to them. They got up to follow the Elven lady. Jennifer watched, tempted to get up and follow them herself. But as she was trying to decide, Lady Galadriel turned her head and looked straight at Jennifer, and gave a mysterious smile, while shaking her head ‘no.’
Jennifer stayed where she was, but she was more curious than ever. She could not go back to sleep, and so she tried to recall all the details of her dream before they slipped away. I wish they were here, she thought. I miss Mom and Daddy. Megan, too. She bit her lower lip. I also miss Kaylee. And Lucy. At least they’re safe in Rivendell. I wonder how much Lucy has grown since we left? I’m sure she’s not teething anymore.
She was not sure how much time had passed, but after a while, Sam and Frodo returned and went back to their bedrolls. Lady Galadriel returned and, smiling once more at Jennifer, she beckoned her to rise and follow. Scrambling to her feet, the young girl did as she was told. What’s happening?she silently wondered. What’s going on?
‘Follow me, and you shall find out,’ Galadriel’s amused voice sounded in her head. A startled Jennifer jolted. She was not used to that!
Jennifer silently followed the Lady. She had what seemed like a million questions about where they were going and what the Lady Galadriel wanted, but somehow it did not seem the right time to ask them. Jennifer realized they were nearing Caras Galadhon, but they did not ascend the slope of the Hill. Instead the two of them went around to the southern side, where the end of their way led to a huge hedge. An archway of living green allowed them access. For the first time since entering Lothlórien, Jennifer suddenly realized that she was not beneath a canopy of trees, and she could see the night sky unobstructed. They went down a long stone stairway, which grew more and more shallow until it became a pathway. A babbling stream ran alongside from the Hill above. At the end of the pathway was a pedestal that looked like the trunk of a tree. A silver basin stood upon it, and beside it a silver pitcher.
Moving gracefully, the Lady took the pitcher and filled it with water from the stream. She filled the basin with the water and bent to breathe over it. Jennifer thought it seemed that there was a glowing mist for a second, but then she wasn't sure—perhaps it had been her imagination? But now the Lady spoke for the first time since summoning Jennifer. "Here is the Mirror of Galadriel,” she said. “I have brought you here so that you may look in it, if you will."
"What will I see?" Jennifer asked, almost whispering.
“Even the wisest cannot tell. For the mirror shows many things: things that were…things that are…and some things that have not yet come to pass,” was the Lady's mysterious answer. Jennifer swallowed a gulp. That sounded ominous!
Reluctantly, she went to the pedestal and bent her face to see within. At first all she could see was the sky and the night stars above. How odd, she thought, I don't even see my own face reflected. But then the water briefly went grey, and then became as clear as could be. There was the scene from her dream. It was clearly Rivendell, and there were her parents with Kaylee, Lucy, and Megan, as well as Master Elrond and Lady Arwen! They appeared to be talking seriously. Where are Uncle Ryan and Aunt Janet?she silently wondered. Aren’t they here, too?
Then the mirror changed. She could see orcs—they were running away, carrying Merry, Pippin, and—and Joey! But before she could even cry out in alarm, it changed again, and there was a huge white city that looked like something from a fairy tale. And then she saw—Gandalf? She couldn’t tell. He was all dressed in white, and he was riding a white horse.
Then she saw her parents, Kaylee, Megan, and Lucy again—they were riding in boats on a big river with some Elves. I hope that Kaylee and Megan are okay! They can't swim. But Mom and Dad are with them. But someone here really needs to invent life jackets! Suddenly, Jennifer saw a huge mountain belching fire, and somehow, she knew it was Mount Doom! It was belching out lava and fire, which seemed to be coming right at her! With a yelp, she leaped back, startled, and the spell was broken.
Most of what she had seen, she could not understand, but one thing was pretty obvious. She looked at the Lady in wonder. "Our parents and Megan are coming to Middle-earth, too, aren't they?
Galadriel nodded. "While much is still open to interpretation, it does appear that the rest of your family will come. But do not place too much hope in it, for there is no way of telling when they will be here, or when you may be reunited with them. Much will befall before that happens!" The Lady bent to look Jennifer in the eyes. "I know that it will be tempting to talk about this to your brothers, but the Mirror is a chancy thing. You should not give false hope to them."
Jennifer nodded. She knew that the Lady Galadriel was right, but it would be a hard secret to keep. Still, she would have to try. And if she was understanding the Mirror correctly, their parents and Megan would come, but their aunt and uncle would not. Guess they’re gonna stay back at home, she thought, but why are Mom and Dad back at the park after all this time, and why are they going to the cave? And bringing Megan? Did they go back to the park to try to find us, or what? She shook her head in confusion. It’s been a few months now since we entered that cave—Mom and Dad must have gone back to look for us again! What’s happening? She bit her lower lip.
"And Joey?" she asked fearfully. "Shouldn’t he be warned about the orcs?"
"Can you tell him when it will happen, or how? And how to avoid it?"
Jennifer shook her head. "No."
"Then all you would be doing is worrying him overmuch about something that may or may not happen. Remember, trying to avoid something may actually bring it about. The Mirror is dangerous as a guide of deeds." The Lady put a comforting arm around her. "You know Whom to trust, my dear. Hold fast to the knowledge that all will be well in the end, whatever that end may be. And now, my child, I will guide you back to your bed. You need your rest."
Jennifer nodded. “Yes, ma’am.” She shook her head. “You know, Lady Galadriel, it’s so weird. Before we came to Middle-earth, I never had a prophetic dream, and since coming here, I’ve had two!” She swallowed. “I dreamed about our parents and Megan coming here before I woke up tonight.”
Galadriel nodded. “And what was your first dream?”
Jennifer bit her lower lip. “I dreamed it while we were in Rivendell. In fact, Kevin and I both did.” She described her dream to Galadriel, and then explained what Kevin had told her about his own dream the next morning. She added, “Of course, we didn’t know about the Ring or the upcoming Quest at the time.”
“And why do you think that you and Kevin had that dream?” Galadriel asked her.
Jennifer halted. For a long moment, she thought back over that time. “I had done some praying when I went to bed,” she finally said. “I asked God to tell us why He had sent us here. He…He sent me—us—that dream when we fell asleep.”
"The ways of the One are mysterious," the Lady said, "but I think that you are correct."
Jennifer smiled. “Hey, that’s what the Bible says! ‘The Lord moves in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform.’”
Galadriel smiled and nodded. "I have heard you and your brothers speak of your Holy Book. It is a very wise book."
Jennifer nodded back. “It should be. It’s the Word of God.”
They walked back to the pavilion in silence.
Jennifer lay on her cot, unable to get back to sleep. She just couldn’t stop thinking about it either. Their parents and Megan were actually coming to Middle-earth! That meant that if all went well, it would only be a matter of time until she, Kevin, Joey, and Kaylee were reunited with them. And surely, when it was all over, they would all be going back to their own world. After Galadriel had left her at the pavilion, Jennifer had sought the Lord’s guidance in prayer, asking Him if she could tell her brothers that their parents and Megan were coming to Middle-earth. She had felt an immediate check in her spirit telling her that the answer was no, and that she should follow the advice of Lady Galadriel, after all. She kept hearing how wise the Elf was, and to keep her secrets within her heart…
Now, as she made her way to their spot in the beech grove for their devotions, she was both dreading and looking forward to revealing the secret. Please, Lord, she silently prayed, please help me to say the right thing tonight. Please help them understand.
They were doing it a little early this evening, right before the evening meal instead of afterward, since Jennifer was going to be helping out with the patients in the tents tonight. One of the apprentice healers had stepped in a hole and sprained her ankle, so Jennifer had volunteered to take her place tonight.
She approached the beech grove, and saw Kevin already there, sitting under a tree, in the little clearing where Frodo and Sam had awakened. It was free of hobbits and their cots now, and it was free of anyone else who came to relax there from time to time.
She waved. "Hi, Kevin! Where's Joey?"
Kevin shook his head. "Probably still running errands; he'll be here soon, don't worry."
The two of them told each other about their day, and they were still talking when Joey came running up. "Sorry," he huffed, "I almost forgot. Pippin and I were polishing Boromir's armour, and he reminded me we were getting together early, tonight. Pip told me to run along, and he'd finish." He flung himself to the ground in front of his two older siblings, stretching out and propping his head up with one hand under his cheek.
Usually, they always started with a short song, but before her brothers could say anything, Jennifer spoke up. "Hey, guys? I...um...I have something important to tell you.” She reached into her pouch and produced the letter. "I talked to Aragorn and Boromir and Gandalf, and they showed me this letter…" She held it over to Kevin, and Joey turned and crawled over so he could see it as well.
Kevin furrowed his brow; Joey had been learning how to read the letters of this world for a while, and Jennifer had been doing so ever since she had begun to work with the healers, but he was not so good at it. God had miraculously given them the ability to speak and understand Westron upon their arrival in Middle-earth, but they’d had to learn for themselves to read and write in that language. Kevin passed it over to Joey, who slowly read it aloud. Fortunately, the words were in Westron, not Sindarin, though the letters were Elvish.
"‘...that is all of the military news. The City is slowly recovering from the damage of battle, but we will be building up the Guard once again, once you have returned. Much of that will fall to the new King.’” He cleared his throat.
“‘But there is other news. Master Elrond of Imladris sent us a delegation of Elves, led by Lord Glorfindel of the House of the Golden Flower, and twelve warriors. But with them were others, who were not Elves. One member of the company is one of the Istari, a fellow named Radagast the Brown.
“‘And with them also came a family—’" Joey stopped, and his jaw dropped, and he stared up at Kevin before he turned his eyes back to the letter. "‘—a family who came with them to search for their children, husband and wife Steve and Gail McCloud, and their daughters Megan and Kaylee.’" Joey gave a whoop. "They're here!" he shouted. "Mom and Dad are here, and Kaylee and Megan, too!"
Kevin stared at him in shock. He felt like his breath had been punched out of him—it was great news, but totally unexpected. "What else does it say?"
"‘We are hosting them here at the Citadel, where they eagerly await their older children's return from Cormallen.
“‘Denethor son of Ecthelion
Steward of Minas Tirith’"
Kevin looked at Jennifer. "When did you get this?"
She blushed. "A few days ago." She met his eyes. "I was trying to figure out what to tell you."
"But why wait? And why you? They could have told all of us at the same time." Kevin was puzzled; it seemed illogical to him.
Jennifer drew in a deep breath. "Because I knew they were coming. I have known since Lothórien."
"Jennifer!" Kevin stared at her. "How? And why didn't you tell us?"
She sighed. "I had a dream about it, and then I saw it in Lady Galadriel’s Mirror. I asked her about it, and she told me not to say anything until I felt the time was right. And then, I prayed about it, and it seemed pretty clear that the Lord didn't want me to tell you yet."
Kevin leaned back against the tree and closed his eyes and drew in a few breaths. Meanwhile Joey was re-reading the portion of the letter, drinking in the words.
He looked up at Kevin. "Don't be mad at Jen," he said. "It isn't important—we know now, and they're here. We won't have to explain anything, we won't be in trouble—they'll know all about this!" Joey waved his arm around at everything, as if to indicate all of Middle-earth.
Kevin glanced down and grinned, and then he put an arm around Joey and squeezed his shoulder. "You are absolutely right, little brother. We’ll still have to explain to Uncle Ryan and Aunt Janet, since they didn’t come, too, but it’ll be easier for them to believe us if our parents are there to help us explain. And Jen, I'm not really mad, because you have to do what the Lord shows you is right. It's just a shock, you know."
"That's okay, Kevin; I do understand all too well. And I wouldn't blame you if you were angry, but I am glad you aren't." Jennifer smiled at him. Thank You, God, that they’re not mad!
Joey grinned and started to sing.
"‘Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him above, ye Heavenly host.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost! Amen!’"
Both Kevin and Jennifer had joined him before even the third word, and then they sang it all over again.
"Maybe tomorrow, we can find out a little more from Aragorn and Boromir about when we are all going back," said Jennifer.
"Maybe," Kevin added. "If they are sending out messengers, do you suppose it would be okay if we sent a letter to them, so they'll know we know?"
"Maybe," Jennifer answered. "What do you think, Joey?" She had come to respect her little brother's thoughts. Since coming here, he had matured so much.
"Maybe we could.” Joey looked from Jennifer to Kevin. “We could pray about it tonight before we all go off, and then talk at breakfast."
Kevin laughed. "That sounds like a plan. Let's pray now."
The three formed a small circle, bowing their heads and holding hands, and Kevin began:
"Thank you, Lord, for this great news. Please help us try to figure out what to do about it."
Jennifer cleared her throat and closed her eyes. “God,” she prayed, “thank You so much for this good news! And thank You for finally letting me tell my brothers. Please guide us now as to what to do with this news.”
It was Joey’s turn. “Please, God,” he prayed, “now that our mom and daddy are here, too, I pray it won’t be long till we’re back with them. And with Kaylee and Megan.” He paused. “And Lucy.”
Kevin squeezed the other's hands. "In Jesus' name…"
And all three chorused together: "Amen!"
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